09/06/2019 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – Under a directive issued by an agency under the Prime Minister’s Department, joint prayers at unity events involving both Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia have been banned.
This ban is based on conclusions reached at two meetings — a 2006 national-level meeting between all state fatwa councils and the Federal Territories Islamic regulations committee meeting.
Yesterday, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said that Muslims are not obligated to join mass prayer sessions, whether silently or in succession, with other religions in any organized events. Non-Muslims, on the other hand, can still join or organize such mass prayers.
Such prayers should be “replaced with an activity where a message of unity is shared” instead, as stated in the directive letter.
Mr. Yusof, the mufti (religious leader) from Negri Sembilan state, said the act of Muslims reciting the doa (prayer of supplication) in a joint-prayer setting with non-Muslims lowers the status of Islam.
According to Today Online, non-Muslim organizations are unhappy with the directive as it destroys the intent of interfaith events where Malaysians of different backgrounds learn about different faiths and to respect freedom of religion.
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